By SAM LANCE
Class of 2023 four-star point guard and top-20 prospect Elmarko Jackson is down to a final seven schools, per On3. Those schools include Miami, Kansas, Texas, Notre Dame, Virginia, UCLA, and Villanova.
Jackson, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound point guard from South Kent High School (CT) and the WeR1 AAU program, has taken one official visit to Miami. The guard also has visits planned to Kansas (Sept. 18), Texas (Sept. 25) and Notre Dame (Oct. 30). Virginia will be his final visit, but the date is still to be determined.
Jackson gave some thoughts on all the schools in his top seven to Joe Tipton of On3:
Miami: “I had a really good time with the players and the team. They just showed me how it was around campus. And then late night, I got to get in the gym with Isaiah Wong, just play ones with him, shoot with him a little bit, which was really good.”
Kansas: “I’m looking forward to seeing how they work as a team and getting the opportunity to watch them practice a little bit… They want me to go in there and earn my spot as a freshman point guard and play with Chris Johnson being like a lead guard with the ball like just facilitating, playing defense, making shots, and just contributing to the great legacy that Kansas basketball has already.”
Texas: “[Chris Beard] is just telling me that I’m their priority guard. He says he wants to pretty much do the same thing like Kansas, to put the ball in my hands, and make me a lead guard, play defense, get buckets, but also have me playing off the ball as. Have some actions, like I did with my AAU team this summer. Coming off pin downs, some screens, all that type of stuff. Just make me a more versatile player. And a win the national championship. That’s something he really talks about a lot.”
Notre Dame: “They play with a lot of freedom. I talk to coach (Antoni) Wyche about that a lot. They give their players a lot of freedom within their offense, so it’s a free-flowing offense and they play with a pretty fast pace.”
Virginia: “Coach Tony Bennett is a really good coach. He played at the highest level in the NBA where I want to play. He played point guard, the same position as me. I feel like he’s got the knowledge more so in that type of field than some of these other coaches have when it comes to getting to the NBA at that point guard spot.”
Villanova: “I talked with their whole coaching staff last week. We just talked about how serious they approach basketball, how their schedule is, and just how efficient it would be for me to stay home and be in that area. How easy it would be for me. Just pretty much how Villanova basketball does it differently and prepares you for the NBA.”
UCLA: “They do a really good job at developing their players. Coach Mick (Cronin) has been at Cincinnati and pretty much-developed players from the ground up. Now that he’s in a position like this at UCLA, having possibly kids like me go there and develop me to be an NBA point guard and just to get to work and contribute to like the winning legacy that UCLA has.”
Jackson is ranked the No. 18 player in the nation and No. 4 point guard by 247Sports. He’s also the No. 1 player in the state of Connecticut. Jackson said he’d like to make his college decision before his high school season starts in mid-November.
“I’m looking for how hard the coaches push the players,” Jackson said of what will factor into his decision. “How locked in everybody is with winning, and that just goes for the whole staff and the players, how locked in they are. Just a culture where everybody pretty much goes hard and pushes each other to be better.”
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